Four sign letters of intent
Posted on: Nov 8, 2017
Four Delano High School athletes signed national letters of intent on Wednesday, Nov. 8, to play at a higher level when they reach college next fall.
Mitchell Durst will play Division I lacrosse for the University of Detroit Mercy, and Calvin Wishart will play Division I basketball for Georgia Southern University. In addition, Jack Paulson will play Division II baseball for Northern State University, and Emma Moonen will be a member of the inaugural University of Wisconsin-River Falls women’s lacrosse team in Division III.
The athletes were honored during a signing ceremony at the Tiger Activity Center in front of students, staff members and family. Read on for more about each individual.
Durst plans to study business and management at the University of Detroit Mercy. During a brief speech he thanked his parents and coaches for their support. His parents are John Durst, Ann Otto and Ryan Albeck.
“If it wasn’t for those three I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today or even be in this position. They have supported me through my ups and downs and made me the player I am today. So thank you,” he said.
Durst also thanked his teammates and said his best memory in high school athletics was spending time with them.
Coach Damon Kocina said Delano was proud to have Durst.
“In the classroom, in practice and on the field of play Mitch exemplifies the characteristics that you look for in a team captain: leadership, work ethic, dedication and a winning attitude,” Kocina said. “These make him an absolute joy to coach, but even more fun to watch. We’re looking forward to seeing him work his magic at the DI level.”
Wishart is tentatively planning to study business marketing or exercise science at Georgia Southern. He thanked his parents, Phil and Nichole, for enrolling him at Delano his freshman year, for getting him to early practices and for working on his skills in the driveway at home. He also thanked coaches Terry Techam, Jason Monke and Jamie Longstreet for their help and support.
“Everyone here at Delano, thanks for all the support,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Wishart said his favorite memories of playing in Delano included the enthusiastic crowds and fans storming the court after a win over Orono his sophomore year.
“On behalf of the boys basketball program and the boys basketball coaching staff, I just want to tell Calvin congratulations on signing with Georgia Southern,” said Monke. “He’s worked extremely hard and put a lot of time into basketball … probably since he was 3 or 4 years old. So this is a culmination of all that work.”
Wishart said Monke was responsible for ball handling drills at morning practices.
“Calvin is obviously a very good ball handler, so it’s hard to find things that he doesn’t know how to do,” said Monke. “Congratulations to him. We’re looking forward to a good season this year, and looking forward to watching him on the floor on TV maybe somewhere in the future.”
Moonen said her parents have been her No. 1 supporters through the years.
“My mom (Tina) has sat through so many girls lacrosse games. I am so thankful for that,” she said. My dad (Ben) has never given up on me. He pushes me to do my best, and most importantly, to have fun. No matter what, he is there for me. He has reminded me to have confidence in myself and to enjoy the sport, because that’s what is most important.”
She also thanked her sister Lily and coaches Courtney Durst and Katie Culviner, and finally her teammates.
“I would just like to thank you for all for the love and support that you guys have shown me. Without you guys I wouldn’t have the love for lacrosse that I do today,” she said. “My favorite memories are the ones spent on the field with you guys. The best feeling to me is when we work together and succeed as a team.”
Moonen said the experiences of her playing days in Delano will help her in the years ahead, both on and off the field.
“As a Delano Tiger I’ve learned the importance of teammates, hard work and the constant support system you need to create to really succeed,” she said. “Through Tiger athletics I’ve learned a lot of life lessons that I’ll bring with me.”
Culviner said Moonen exemplified the values of teamwork, working hard and having fun, and that she was a versatile member who was willing to play multiple positions.
“It’s just been a real pleasure to coach her and the rest of the team too,” said Culviner.
Moonen is planning to study animal science or elementary education at River Falls.
Paulson is undecided on a major, but is considering business management. He said his mother Melanie and his dad and longtime coach, Dan, have been an important part of his success.
“My dad has coached me for most of my baseball career. He taught me how to play the game the right way, make the right choices and put the team in front of me,” Paulson said. “My mom, Mel, was the one who got me to all my sporting events and supported me.”
Paulson also thanked his coaches and said forming bonds with his teammates was the most enjoyable thing about his high school career.
Assistant baseball coach Jeff Olson said it has been fun to see Paulson achieve his goal of playing college baseball.
“It’s pretty cool to see him, knowing that it was a dream of his from a young age,” Olson said. “To be able to realize that and move on and do that is a pretty cool thing.”